In its raw state, honey contains many beneficial enzymes that offer a healthy sweet taste for those who dislike over-processed foods and sweets. Over time, the honey will thicken and form dense crystalline clumps. This is a natural process and does not affect the taste of the honey at all. Once the honey has crystallized, there are several ways to return it to a silky smooth, liquid state.
Method 1 of 3: Melting Honey in the “Microwave”
Step 1. Use the microwave carefully when melting the honeyIf you want honey that retains the "raw" benefits of honey, use the microwave with caution. Microwave melting easily destroys beneficial enzymes if it gets too hot, although this process is fast and efficient.
Step 2. Transfer the honey from the plastic container to a glass jar using a spoonApart from being a health hazard, plastic containers don't transfer heat as well as glass containers. The bottom line: your job becomes faster and safer if honey is placed in glass jars rather than plastic containers.
Step 3. Heat the honey in the microwave for 30 seconds on the defrost settingThe time to melt will vary depending on the amount of honey melted, the initial temperature of the honey, the sugar content, and the power of the microwave. It is best to use a low setting and a short warm-up time. This requires more cycles and an additional minute or two of time, but the taste of the honey should not be damaged or the effectiveness of the good enzymes in the honey should not be hampered during the melting process.
Experiment to find out what works best in your environment, but do so with caution. If the temperature is above 38ºC, the taste of honey will change; if the temperature is above 49ºC, then the beneficial enzymes in honey begin to break down and become ineffective
Step 4. Check the honey after 30 seconds, especially near the surface of the jarIf the honey clumps start to melt, stir in the honey to help disperse the heat. If the honey hasn't started to melt, continue heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds until the crystals start to melt.
Step 5. Warm up with the addition of time for 15-30 seconds, stirring the honey after each heatingContinue until the honey is almost melted, then stir until the process is complete.
If most of the honey has melted but there are still some unmelted honey crystals, you will need to complete this process by stirring the honey vigorously manually instead of heating it
Method 2 of 3: Melting Honey with Warm Water
Step 1. Melt the honey in a water bath if you want to preserve the natural enzymes in the honeyMany people use honey in their diet because it contains enzymes that aid digestion and promote overall health. If you are one of them and the honey you have crystallizes, use a warm water bath for maximum results.
As mentioned above, melting honey in the microwave can not only affect the taste of the honey, it can also damage the honey by breaking down the enzymes. Since it is easier to control the temperature of the water bath, there is very little chance of losing the beneficial parts of the honey using this method
Step 2. Transfer the honey to a glass jar if necessaryAvoid plastic containers if you can; not only are they shallower (making an overturned container very likely), but plastic containers are also difficult to transfer heat.
Step 3. Fill a large pot with water and slowly heat it up to 35-40ºCOnce the water reaches 40ºC, remove the pot from the stove. The water will continue heating even after the heat source has been removed.
- If you don't have a thermometer to accurately measure the temperature of the water, watch for bubbles forming on the sides of the pan. Small bubbles begin to form at 40°C. You can still safely dip your finger in water at 40°C.
- When heating water, the temperature should not exceed 46°C. If there is any doubt about the water temperature, let the water cool down and start over. Honey heated above 46°C is no longer considered raw.
Step 4. Soak the crystallized honey in warm waterOpen a jar of honey and carefully put it in warm water. Wait for the warm water to start breaking down the glucose crystals on the sides of the honey jar.
Step 5. Stir the honey periodically to speed up the meltingCrystallized honey is a poor conductor of heat; Stirring the honey will help spread the heat more evenly from the sides of the jar to the center of the honey.
Step 6. Remove the honey from the water bath when it is completely meltedSince the water bath-removed from the heat source-will be cold, it is not dangerous to heat the honey by leaving it in a warm water bath. Stir occasionally for maximum results; otherwise just put it down and forget it.
Method 3 of 3: Preventing Crystallization
Step 1. Stir the honey crystals to create frictionStirring the honey with a strong spoon will cause friction. Anyone who has experienced friction burn will know firsthand that rubbing two surfaces together very quickly creates heat. This heat will help melt the honey. So if you have lumps of crystallized honey and don't have a microwave or stove, or want to try something new, stir vigorously for 30 minutes to 1 minute and see if the problem is solved.
If you are trying to prevent crystallization in the first place, then the type of honey you have will determine how quickly the honey crystallizes. Honey with high glucose content will crystallize faster than honey with low glucose. So, alfalfa, cotton, and tread honey will crystallize more quickly than sage, longan, or tupelo honey. Stirring this type of honey is just a tactic to delay crystallization
Step 2. Strain the raw honey through a fine-perforated sieve to retain particles that accelerate crystallizationSmall particles such as pollen, wax specks, and air bubbles become "seeds" of crystallization if left in the honey. Remove these particles with a polyester filter and extend the life of the melted honey.
If you don't have a slotted filter, consider using a soft nylon cloth or gauze over the filter as a filter
Step 3. Do not store honey in a cold cupboard or refrigerator to keep the honey liquid longer
The ideal storage temperature for honey is between 21-27°C. Try to store honey in an environment with a well-regulated temperature.
Step 4. Warm up slowly to prevent crystallization if sugar crystals are visibleAs soon as crystals form, melt the honey. The first crystal formation starts slowly but will accelerate if the crystals aren't inhibited, so stay alert and you won't have too many crystallized clumps of honey, should they occur.
- Do not add water to granulated honey. Instead, heat it slowly (as described in the steps above).
If water enters accidentally, the honey will ferment and become an alcoholic beverage